On 18 March, the Russians went to the ballot boxes to elect a new president. There was not the slightest doubt about Putin’s re-election. But whilst Putin is settling in for another six years, the question emerges what will happen in 2024
The results of the Russian parliamentary election in September 2016 were predictable in many ways, But is the situation as clear as it seems and what does this recent election tell us about the political situation in Russia?
Are the Western sanctions against Russia working, how long should they remain in force and are there any other means to influence Russia’s politics? What else is it the EU can do to strengthen Ukraine? Is a long-term EU membership for Ukraine feasible and how would Russia react to that? What exactly is the driving force behind Putin’s policy towards Ukraine and how can EU-Russian relations evolve under such hostile circumstances?
The security of both the Syrian refugees and of the hosting communities is at risk. The European Union may be the largest donor with the total humanitarian assistance committed by the EU over 1.85 billion euro, but there is more the EU and its Member States should do.
More than two years ago the Syrian Revolution started as a popular and largely peaceful protest against the brutal dictatorship of the Assad regime and the Baath Party. Even now, although the revolution has turned into a violent struggle for power, the popular call for rights, human dignity and a free and inclusive Syria are still part and parcel of the revolutionary movement. Yet, in two years time, the Revolution has turned into a civil war.